For more see here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOKAfX52Nww
and here http://dublinopinion.com/2009/11/19/john-throne-on-the-cwi-and-expulsion/"
Irish Parliament’s Last Remaining Holy Man
Speaks On His Retirement
Tonight, I remember not the few
who stuck with me through
thin and thinner, but the many who,
long term, made stone mattresses
for their own backs by abandoning
me. Those politically
disembowelled on the quiet at meetings
I know nothing about, who left us
no alternative but to mutter
about funds misappropriated; girls taken
advantage of on sofas
that weren’t fit for purpose; or
drainpipe trousers worn
without due care and attention
on marches for
(or against) unemployment, war
I was too busy doing what
The Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith told me
to know anything about anything
bad. To advance in this Party
all you needed do was be
reliable as old wardrobes,
or ready, when the moment came,
to do the thing everyone else wanted done
but weren’t prepared to ruin
their fingernails doing themselves.
To lend a dank hand
deleting the necessary names.
Their eyes filling with nostalgia
as the breadknife goes in,
and their giblets spill,
like the worst serving of meatballs
ever to fall on a plate
this side of Mulhuddart.
Because of their vast
self-indulgence, I’ll spend
my remaining days
practicing self-denial on a rock
off the Atlantic coast,
crying into the turf smoke
at all those who left me.
Kevin Higgins was born in London in 1967 to Irish parents. He grew up in Galway, Ireland but lived in London in the late 80s/early nineties when he was active in the Anti-Poll Tax movement and chairman of Enfield Against The Poll Tax. He was expelled from the Labour Party in 1991 for his anti-poll tax activities and membership of Militant. He is now co-organiser of Over The Edge literary events in Galway, Ireland. He facilitates poetry workshops at Galway Arts Centre; teaches creative writing at Galway Technical Institute and on the Brothers of Charity Away With Words programme. He is also Writer-in-Residence at Merlin Park Hospital and the poetry critic of the Galway Advertiser.
He has published four collections of poems: Kevin’s most recent collection of poetry, The Ghost In The Lobby, was launched at this year’s Cúirt Festival by Mick Wallace TD. His poems also feature in the anthology Identity Parade – New British and Irish Poets (Bloodaxe, 2010) and in the anthology The Hundred Years’ War: modern war poems (Ed Neil Astley, Bloodaxe May 2014). His poetry was recently the subject of a paper titled ‘The Case of Kevin Higgins: Or The Present State of Irish Poetic Satire’ given by David Wheatley at a symposium on satire at the University of Aberdeen; David Wheatley’s paper can be read in full here http://georgiasam.blogspot.ie/2014/05/the-case-of-kevin-higgins-or-present.html . Mentioning The War, a collection of his essays and reviews, was published by Salmon in April, 2012. Kevin’s blog is http://mentioningthewar.blogspot.ie/ . and has been described by Dave Lordan as “one of the funniest around” who has also called Kevin “Ireland’s sharpest satirist.”
Praise for Kevin Higgins’s poetry:
“His contribution to the development of Irish satire is indisputable…Higgins’ poems embody all of the cunning and deviousness of language as it has been manipulated by his many targets... it is clear that Kevin Higgins’ voice and the force of his poetic project are gaining in confidence and authority with each new collection.” Philip Coleman
“It is a profound compliment to the quality of Kevin’s writing that you can disagree with the content and yet find yourself still reading on and appreciating the style. You’d have to say that he is one of the lead poets of his generation in Ireland at this stage.” Clare Daly T.D.
“Comedy is part of his poetics, and what I especially like in his work is its swiftness of wit, its tone of buoyant contrarianism and jubilant disappointment”, Eamonn Grennan, The Irish Times
“good satirical savagery”. The Cambridge Introduction to Modern Irish Poetry, 1800-2000
“Fluent and often as laugh-out-loud funny as Paul Howard's Ross O'Carroll-Kelly.” John McAuliffe, reviewing The Ghost in The Lobby, Irish Times August 2014